Wednesday, January 16, 2008, 12:33 PM - 2nd Amendment IssuesPRPC members and any interested parties:
We normally refrain from posting about political issues, or generally anything that could end up being divisive for our members or prospective members. However, an issue has come up that dwarfs quite possibly any issue, past or present, in the struggle over American firearms rights, and we'd like your help.
Text of the 2nd Amendment: "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."
Background: Firearms are illegal in Washington, DC. Someone sued the government for infringing on their 2nd Amendment rights. The government argued that the right to bear arms is a "collective" right, i.e. only applies to the militia (which in modern interpretation effectively means National Guard). Gun owners argued that the 2nd Amendment protects an "individual" right, where "people" in addition to "People" (in the collective, government sense) can keep and bear arms.
The gun owners won. The government appealed to the US Supreme Court. Their decision is pending.
Implications: It should be obvious from the explanation above what's at stake. A ruling in favor of only a collective 2nd amendment right would be an immediate disaster for legal gun ownership in the US - possibly paving the way for stricter firearm regulation, or eventual prohibition in its entirity.
This ruling will be a landmark on the scale of Brown v. Board of Education, unless the Supreme Court cops out on a technicality. They tend to do stuff like that. But if they do render a final decision, it will be a far-reaching legal precedent that could only be overturned by another Supreme Court ruling.
What We're Asking: US Representative Eric Cantor (R-VA) has created an online petition in support of the 2nd Amendment (www.savethesecond.com). This isn't some guy sitting on his couch making petitions because he can; this is a US Congressman staking his career on supporting a favorable Supreme Court ruling on an issue with too many technicalities, hard feelings, and rhetoric on each side.
All we ask is that you look over the petition, consider its text, and sign it if you agree.
Thanks for your time and consideration.